Save the Children provides emergency response to measles outbreak

Thursday 13 July 2023

On December 5th, 2022 Katavi was hit by a measles outbreak, which has predominantly affected children under the age of 18, accounting for 84% of the total 3,811 suspected measles cases reported in the Tanganyika and Mpimbwe districts. Measles, one of the world’s most contagious viruses, can damage sight, hearing, cause brain inflammation, pneumonia, and subsequent death.

In a compassionate response to the ongoing health crisis in Katavi, Save the Children has shown its steadfast dedication to the well-being of children and public health. Save the Children conducted an emergency response focusing on Measles surveillance, measles case management, Risk Communication, and Community Engagement.

On June 2023, in a growing response to the pressure on life-saving measles medical supplies in the designated health facilities, Save the Children donated essential medical items worth 30,613,750 TZS. These items span various medical necessities including antibiotics, pain relievers, IV supplies oxygen cylinders, and supportive therapies.

These medical supplies substantially bolster an effective response to measles outbreaks, providing a comprehensive range of medications and equipment necessary for symptom control, complication management, and supportive care. This contribution underscores our ongoing commitment to combating measles in Tanganyika and Mpimbwe District councils.

Additionally, Save the Children is supporting targeted measles vaccination campaigns to protect over 1,000 children under the age of 5 in the affected districts, a crucial measure to curb the outbreak and hinder further transmission. To this end, we have aided the distribution of 9,000 vaccine doses, including MR, OPV, IPV, BCG, HPV, PENTA, and Rota vaccines, across eight healthcare facilities. Furthermore, we have facilitated the training of 38 healthcare workers in measles surveillance, active case detection, and case management across 16 healthcare facilities.

Through these diverse efforts, Save the Children continues to embody its mission of safeguarding the survival, education, and protection of children, even in the face of the most severe crises.